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George Egg: Anarchist Cook

at Gilded Balloon Teviot

* * * * -

Very well thought out show revealing how to rustle up a three-course meal in a hotel room

Image of George Egg: Anarchist Cook

From opening credits sequence to final tasting session, this cookery-course-cum-comedy-routine is a terrific, well-thought out piece of performance that never fails to entertain.

As a jobbing comedian, Egg has spent a lot of time in our nation’s Travelodges and Premier Inns, and has become a dab hand at cooking in hotel rooms, using kettles as cookers, irons as hotplates and sinks as mixing bowls. In this show, he gives audiences the benefit of this expertise, rustling up a three-course meal using the contents of the mocked-up hotel room on the stage. It’s an instantly engaging idea, and Egg is a lively host, and as it turns out, not half bad as a cook.

There’ll be no recipe spoilers here. Suffice to say, each course is intricately and plausibly prepared, with all details flashed up in French on a screen behind him. And in case cynics think he’s making this stuff up, there’s enough supplementary detail to convince he’s tried some, if not all, of what he says. Egg seems genuinely passionate about teaching us. We learn which hotel plants are edible, how to theoretically make cheese from those tiny UHT milk cartons and vinegar sachets, and new uses for bathroom surfaces.

All the while, he is punting jokes in our direction. It’s not easy to assess how good this would be as stand-alone material, but in the context of the show it keeps things flowing and gets laughs, although two older ladies at the back seem to find some of it in bad taste.

It may be fractionally too much to fit in an hour; for his sake, rather than ours. While we sit back to watch a brief interval video amusingly showing the origin of Twiglets, he’s busy constructing an elaborate mechanism on which to cook the final course, and this constant need to juggle so many balls has a knock-on effect on his delivery of some jokes. He seems constantly just on the cusp of forgetting something – either a line or an ingredient.

This is minor nit-picking though. This labour of love is a great idea, very well-executed, and as the post-show tasting proves, the food is genuinely delicious. Doff your chef’s hats to that man.

See also our interview with George Egg